Turtles & tortoises
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hippomane mancinella, Manchineel, Manzanilla de la muerte


Commonly known as "Manchineel", "Manzanilla de la muerte" or "death tree" or "The Manchineel tree". Hippomane mancinella, is considered one of the most toxic trees. It contains a highly toxic sap, but has been to the Galapagos giant tortoise feeding on fruit. In the human being the simple contact with the skin its sap causes blistering.




All parts of the plant, bark, leaves, flowers and fruits, well stop breaking white latex and powerfully irritating. Your skin contact causes irritation, burns, blisters and swelling and can cause blindness in eye contact or death if ingested.

Although severely toxic to humans, and possibly for all mammals some reptiles such as the Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) feeding on fruit and staying low in his drink without being affected latex droplets Falling From Trees

Contact with the sap produces a violent burning sensation, inflaming the tissues and causing blisters and rashes on the epidermis. In mucosal sensation is even more aggressive, and is particularly dangerous in the digestive tract. The vitriol is so high that easily consumes cotton fabric and other lightweight materials.

Smoke from burning leaves and wood is equally irritating. However, the wood is hard and very good quality, and much appreciated, but must undergo a long and complex process of drying before the fire even cut.


Can reach 20 m in height, but usually that is at its base formano Fork thickets, or grow sideways, or creeping, with crooked branches. The trunk and many branches are covered with a thick crust and broken, gray. The crown is broad and globose espcially if it grows on solid ground.

Simple and FOMA dispuetas alternating, elliptical, leathery, with prominent yellow veins and petiole length.
It is evergreen, but loses some of his glass during the driest season, between December and January.

Flowers from the beginning of the rainy season, the flowers appear throughout the year, although the largest number occurs in March. Pollination is entomophilous.

Their inflorescences are in axillary spikes up to 7 cm long, containing one or two rudimentary female flowers, about 3 mm in diameter, reduced to one ovary and a stigma bulbous star-shaped, placed in basal position, and smaller male flowers endowed with numerous yellow anthers, over the rest.

Fruits: Remember one block. It is shaped like a knob so globos0, about 4 cm in diameter, very fragrant, covered with a glaucous and shiny skin. The interior has several rounded brown seeds.

The death chamomile grows in coastal areas, on sandy soils of high salt concentration. It extends from Mexico to Colombia and Galapagos Islands

Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León was struck by a poisoned arrow Manchineel with sap, during the battle with the Calusa in Florida, dying shortly after

The Caribs used the sap of this tree to poison their arrows, and subjected to torture prisoners of permancer tied to the trunk of this tree, which produced a slow and painful death. They also used the leaves to poison the water supply of enemy tribes.

A poultice of arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) was used by the Arawak and Taino as an antidote to the wounds inflicted by poisoned arrows


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